I've been running Windows 8 for several months now. All I see on the net is a bunch of hate for it. I've been trying to read these with an open mind, but most of them are just ridiculous. Even I believed the "Every other OS is junk" theory. I still feel that Vista wasn't great, but it wasn't nearly as bad as what people thought. It was awesome if you had a beefed up dual core PC. Making fun of Microsoft products is far past beating a dead horse. IE9 and 10 are awesome, but nobody knows that because they are too busy using Chrome or Firefox. A lot of people don't like change either. Windows 8 has a lot of changes, but I wouldn't say it's for the worse. Anyway, I'm going to get off my soap box and go over some of my favorite Windows 8 features.
I don't think I've ever had a computer boot as fast as my Windows 8 machine. I use to go and get coffee when I was booting up in Windows. I now generally just get my iPad out and check my email on it.
I've seen a lot of people complain about their start menu being gone and how everything has to run in the Metro style theme. You can avoid the Metro styled stuff completely if you don't want to use them. The start menu is replace with a start screen that provides a really good visualization of your apps. It's very easy to customize and much more usable than the original start menu. I have almost no desktop shortcuts now. I had about 15 items pinned to my start menu and was about the height of my screen. I got rid of my quick launch bar because it's faster to use the new start screen.
I use to always do a bunch of stuff to have consistent desktops, lock screens and stuff. Windows 8 saves all these things to the cloud. I signed into a Windows Surface tablet and everything came down without needing to do anything. This is a really minor thing, but it is one of those small nice to have items that gives Windows 8 a great fell.
Holy cow, the multi monitor support in Windows 8 makes it completely worth the upgrade. You can span your task bar to every screen and the task bars will only show what applications are on that screen. This was a feature in a tool called UltraMon that I really liked using. It makes multi monitor multi tasking really easy.
I really feel like Windows 8 is a step in the right direction. You have to be willing to accept change and put a tiny bit of effort to learn how to do some stuff again, but it's totally worth it.